Why Play Chess?

The answer to this question is simple. The act of learning chess increases thinking skills and self-esteem!

Several studies have been done to determine what learning chess can do for students. The unmistakable conclusion is that when students learn chess, they learn to make decisions, plan ahead, accept the consequences of their decisions, think analytically, and thus improve self esteem.

Chess in the schools is a particularly good idea due to the great amount of transferability involved. Skills learned through chess can transfer to skills in math, geography, English, foreign languages, science, finance, art, and many other subjects.

These studies have taken place using grade school students as the subjects, and they have taken place among privileged subjects as well as at-risk subjects. They results are always the same. Whether rich or poor, disadvantaged or not, students who learn chess seem to improve their thinking skills!

(from "The Everything Chess Basics Book" by the U.S. Chess Federation & Peter Kurzdorfer)